Towns are getting more state aid but less than promised

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Your city or town probably would get more state aid under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s new budget for 2016-17 than it did this fiscal year or last.

A major new revenue-sharing program would cap property taxes on vehicles, bolster funds for communities with colleges, hospitals and other tax-exempt properties, and provide general relief.

But even as state officials tout this initiative as “historic” and “transformative,” the governor’s new budget would continue a trend began last December — to scale back this promised boon for cities and towns.

Legislators and Malloy agreed three months ago to delay saving the first $70 million they were supposed to set aside for the revenue-sharing program. And while the new budget Malloy proposed this month increases aid in 2016-17 compared with previous years, it reduces traditional non-education grants by about $50 million compared with the preliminary 2016-17 budget adopted last June.

The map above illustrates the predicted funds appropriated to towns under the new revenue sharing model.

The state’s grant formula for measuring state aid to towns include the following grant types:

  • State-owned real property payment-in-lieu of taxes: A payment for property owned and used by the State of Connecticut within municipalities. It’s equal to a percent of the amount of taxes that would be paid if the property weren’t exempt from taxation.
  • Private colleges and general and freestanding chronic disease hospitals pilot: Payment for a percent of the local property taxes of private colleges, general hospitals, and free-standing chronic disease hospitals in municipalities.
  • Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Sun grant: A grant for all towns in the state based on the value of state-owned property, private college and general hospitals, population, equalized net grand list, and per capita income.
  • Town aid road fund grant: Towns and boroughs use these grants for various purposes, including the construction and maintenance of public highways, roads and bridges. Grant calculations depend upon factors that include population data and the number of a municipality’s improved and unimproved road miles.
  • Local capital improvement program: A town can request reimbursement for eligible local capital improvement projects such as road, bridge or public building construction activities.

Browse the tables below to see how last year’s municipal grants compare to next year’s proposed funding in your town.

  • Public and non-public school transportation: The wealthiest 17 towns are assigned a reimbursement percentage of zero while the remaining districts are each assigned varying cuts of the reimbursement.
  • Adult education: Grants to reimburse adult education expenditures are determined on a sliding scale.
  • Education cost sharing: The ECS formula is intended to equalize state education funding to towns by taking into account a town’s wealth and ability to raise property taxes to pay for education.
  • Grants for municipal projects: Town funding for the construction and maintenance of public highways, roads and bridges.

Browse the tables below to see the overall funds appropriated to each town.

What do you think?